The Devil and the Real World

May 30, 2011

Or, four reading groups in one week, two of which could do with a dose of Deleuze, and the other two, an exorcism…

“why not see them [devil-beliefs] in their own right with all their vividness and detail as the response of people to what they see as an evil and destructive way of ordering economic life? Let us explore this notion that they are collective representations of a way of life losing its life, that they are intricate manifestations that are permeated with historical meaning and that register in the symbols of that history, what it means to lose control over the means of production and to be controlled by them.”

Michael Taussig, The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America, p. 17

“there’s a wildness that still reigns underneath all these mediations—that our animal senses, coevolved with the animate landscape, are still tuned to the many-voiced earth. Our creaturely body, shaped in ongoing interaction with the other bodies that compose the biosphere, remains poised and thirsting for contact with otherness. Cocooned in a clutch of technologies, the nervous system that seethes within our skin still thirsts for a relatively unmediated exchange with reality in all its more-than-human multiplicity and weirdness.”

David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, p. 264

“phenomena—whether lizards, electrons, or humans—exist only as a result of, and as part of, the world’s ongoing intra-activity, its dynamic and contingent differentiation into specific relationalities.”

Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, p. 353

“the existence of the things quâ commodities, and the value relation between the products of labour which stamps them as commodities, have absolutely no connection with their physical properties and with the material relations arising therefrom. There it is a definite social relation between men, that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find an analogy, we must have recourse to the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. In that world the productions of the human brain appear as independent beings endowed with life, and entering into relation both with one another and the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of men’s hands.”

Karl Marx, Capital Vol. I.

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